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UVA / Darden MBA Interview Report: Round 1 / Adcom / On-campus

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The following UVA / Darden MBA interview report was submitted to Clear Admit by a Round 1 applicant. Good luck to them!

All Darden interviews are blind, so the interviewer has not seen your application or resume. My interviewer was an admissions staffer who explained to me that invitations to interview are determined by two admissions staffers’ evaluations of the candidate’s application, then a third staffer does the blind interview and writes a report that gets added to the admissions file. The last step is for two additional admissions staffers to review the completed file (application plus interview report), after which they make a decision to admit, waitlist, or reject by December 16.

The interview was exactly as others described. The prompt was to tell the interviewer “your story” starting with where you grew up, where you went to college, what you’ve done since college, why you’re applying to business schools, why Darden specifically, and what your specific plans are post-graduation. She told me that I had about 30 minutes and to manage my time accordingly, and she largely let me talk except to stop me three or four times to ask follow-up questions (how did you pick your undergrad school, what did you find challenging about this job, etc.).

At the end, she asked me two Darden-specific questions. One was what my experience was with both international travel and working with people from different countries and how a “global” program like Darden’s could enrich me in those respects. The other was what organizations I would engage with outside of “professional clubs” to have a work-life balance at Darden. In the end, she let me ask her two or three questions, then that was it!

For those scheduling an interview, go for an earlier time slot. I interviewed at noon and found myself done with First Coffee, campus tour, financial aid info session, etc. at 11 and killing time for an hour. In retrospect, I should have scheduled a class visit during the hour of the campus tour and gone on the afternoon offering of the tour instead. Also, book class visit slots ASAP since they fill up fast!

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